King Creosote - Betelgeuse
King Creosote - Surface
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Rings of Saturn
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree
Elizabeth Aubrey of www.thequietus.com wirites,
King Creosote, aka Kenny Anderson, returns with his new album Astronaut Meets Appleman, the follow up to 2014’s critically acclaimed From Scotland with Love and the Mercury nominated Diamond Mine, his 2011 collaboration with Jon Hopkins. Soon to enter his fiftieth year, Anderson’s prolific output shows no sign of waning: after 60 albums and around 800 songs (this being a conservative estimate) he is already planning his next album, working on new tracks with his band up in his native Fife.
Astronaut Meets Appleman explores the tensions and unity between tradition and modernity, the old and new, as King Creosote ultimately tries to figure out exactly where he figures. Borne out of an anxiety with social media and technology, the album harks back to a time free from the internet and the incessant subjectivity it brings – a time when children tangibly enjoy the landscape around them rather than watch it through a mobile phone. It was Creosote’s own baby daughter, Louie Wren, who helped to inspire the album’s title when she was more taken with a toy man made out of an apple than she was with a slick toy astronaut. It ultimately became the album’s metaphor.
People die in Nick Cave songs. They get wiped out in floods, zapped in electric chairs, and mowed down en masse in saloon shoot-outs. For Cave, death serves as both a dramatic and rhetorical device—it’s great theater, but it’s also swift justice for those who have done wrong, be it in the eyes of a lover or the Lord. As I once heard him quip in concert: “This next one’s a morality tale… they’re all morality tales, really. It’s what I do.”
But despite amassing a songbook that needs its own morgue, on their 16th album together, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds must contend with something that is not so easily depicted: the sound of mourning. In July 2015, Cave’s 15-year-old son Arthur—one of his twin sons with wife Susie Bick—died when he accidentally fell from a cliff near the family’s current home in Brighton, England. The writing and recording of Skeleton Tree had commenced before the tragic incident, but the album was completed in its aftermath, and its specter hangs over it like a black fog.
Todd's Two Too! airs Friday mornings 8:30-9:00 during Jerianne's Morning Show on 89.5 KVMR FM Nevada City.